News from the School of Art and Art History
News from the School of Art and Art History

Welcome to the School of Art and Art History Newsletter

The students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa create extraordinary art and scholarship. Our monthly newsletter will keep you up to date.

Please submit your news and images for consideration for the SAAH newsletter. We'd love to share your accomplishments!

Student News

"Fenced-Off" by Jonathan Greene

MFA Printmaking student Jonathan Greene recently won the Open Portfolio FIG Bilbao 2020 print competition in Spain. This prestigious award includes a residency at the CIEC Foundation in Betanzos, Spain, and a stand in the Fig Bilbao 2021 Print Festival

View more of Jonathan's work on his website.

Myat Aung and Erin Daly

Art History Ph.D. students Myat Aung and Erin Daly were both awarded Post-Comprehensive Exam Fellowships from the Graduate College for Spring 2021. 

Myat Aung is specializing in Ancient Roman Art with minors in Medieval Art and American Architecture/Urbanism. Erin Daly is studying eighteenth and nineteenth-century European art specializing in the reception of ancient art.

Faculty & Department News

David Johnson, "It Can Be This Way Always"

Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography David Johnson is excited to share that The University of Texas Press will release It Can Be This Way Always: Images from the Kerrville Folk Festival in March of 2021. It Can Be This Way Always is a project that depicts the Kerrville Folk Festival, an annual 18-day music event in Central Texas. This decade-long documentary project observes the American traveling troubadour and the unique camaraderie and society that develop when such individuals come together.

It Can Be This Way Always: Images from the Kerrville Folk Festival is Johnson's second publication while at The University of Iowa and follows the 2019 release of Wig Heavier Than A Boot, a collaboration with poet Philip Matthews, by Kris Graves Projects.

Sue Hettmansperger

Sue Hettmansperger, Professor Emeritus in Painting and Drawing, has been showing her work in several exhibitions:

2021    “Synergy,” forthcoming; Three Artist Group Exhibition, Icon Gallery, Fairfield, IA

2020     “Emotional Numbness,” Juried Exhibition, Platform Gallery, Teheran, Iran

2020    “Mirage,” Curated Group Invitational Exhibit, Sabine Gallery, Houston, Texas

2019    "Iterations: Painting and Collage," One Person Exhibition, List Gallery, Swarthmore College, PA. View the catalogue online.

The New Bauhaus

Joyce Tsai, Associate Professor of Practice and Chief Curator at the Stanley Museum of Art, is featured in the documentary The New Bauhaus: The Life & Legacy of Moholy-Nagy.

As the Nazis took over Germany, many of the displaced Bauhaus masters found refuge in the United States. In 1937, László Moholy-Nagy came to Chicago to start America's most influential midcentury school of design, the New Bauhaus. The school was far from successful initially, but through its various incarnations, Moholy-Nagy and his New Bauhaus forever transformed design, photography, and arts education in America.

The film's narrative weaves original interviews with archival footage, voiceover, and stylized filming of documents and artwork. The result is a new perspective view of a man who was ahead of his time and is increasingly relevant in today's contemporary art and architecture discourses. The New Bauhaus is a film about art, vision, and perseverance in a tumultuous time.

Brenda Longfellow

Brenda Longfellow, Associate Professor and Division Head of Art History, received a 2021 International Programs Summer Research Fellowship for her project titled "Empire Building: The Female-Owned Businesses in Ancient Pompeii."

Professor Longfellow teaches classes on Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. She is the author of the book Roman Imperialism and Civic Patronage: Form, Meaning and Ideology in Monumental Fountain Complexes (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and co-editor of the books Roman Artists, Patrons, and Public Consumption: Familiar Works Reconsidered (University of Michigan, 2018) and Ancient Roman Women on the Bay of Naples: Finding Voices through Material Culture (University of Texas Press, 2021). 

Alumni News

Mac Gimse with "HORIZON"

Mac Gimse (Sculpture MFA, MA 1967) joined the St. Olaf College art faculty in 1970, teaching bronze casting, ceramics, the History of Architecture, and Asian Art History. After retiring in 2001, he continued to teach art history courses overseas for the college, and created poetry and bronzes for presentation to Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who were invited to visit Northfield, MN and speak at St. Olaf. 

His latest sculpture, HORIZON, was built by the Metal + Arts Division of the TMCO Steel Industry in Lincoln, NE. He is pictured here with the 4,000 lb., 24 ft. high sculpture just before it was completed. A poem he wrote and recited in front of the sculpture, Striving for Peace on Horizon's Brim, was set to music for the St. Olaf Choir, which they sang in Carnegie Hall in New York City in February 2020.

At age 85, Gimse is actively creating art, casting bronze, and writing poetry to honor Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. He writes, "The University of Iowa graduate art program set me on the most satisfying career I could ever imagine. I was prepared to establish or expand an undergraduate art program. I was lucky to do both."

Benjamin Wills, Airplanes

Benjamin Wills' (Sculpture MFA 2017) project Airplanes is currently being shown at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, in the exhibition Between You and Me. Airplanes is a collection of paper airplanes that Wills has collected from incarcerated men and women across the country.

Between You and Me assembles a group of contemporary artists whose work engages in acts of connection and care. Whether working in their immediate communities or extending themselves to strangers, these artists employ practices that might model ways for fuller participation in the places we call home.

Artists in the exhibition: Chloë BassSara ClugageGeneral Sisters (Dana Bishop-Root and Ginger Brooks Takahashi)Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice with Lisa Jarrett and Harrell Fletcher featuring the work of artist Lawrence OliverJohn PreusBenjamin Todd Wills, and Christine Wong Yap.

View more of Wills' work on his website.


Miriam Bloom and Ron Morosan (both Painting and Drawing MFA 1973, MA 1972) moved to New York City in 1975. In 2019 their work was exhibited in IN-TER-WO-VEN, a two-person show of paintings, sculptures and works on paper at Westwood Gallery NYC.

The exhibition includes over 50 works from the early 1980s through the present, including one collaborative installation work created exclusively for the gallery space. Visit the website for a virtual tour and a conversation with Ron Morosan for the Westwood Gallery Podcast.

History of Arab Art by Hashim Al‐Tawil

Hashim Al‐Tawil (Ph.D. Art History 1993) authored History of Arab Art, published in 2018. He has been using this textbook for two new undergraduate upper-level courses that he developed and has been teaching, History of Arab Art and Architecture and Art of Islam. Both courses are offered at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, MI, in the Fall and Winter semesters every year.

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